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West Ham United are hoping to farm out Issa Diop during the January transfer window, with West Bromwich Albion boss Sam Allardyce keen to raid his old employers, as reported by the Sun (20 December, page 65).

It is a fickle game, football.

Back in the summer of 2019, when Manchester United came calling, West Ham were demanding £60 million for a young Frenchman who had some of the world’s biggest clubs jetting their scouts out to the London Stadium (Sky).

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If you had suggested at the time that Diop would be stuck behind Angelo Ogbonna and Fabian Balbuena in the pecking order some 18 months later, you would have been laughed out of the East End.

But, while Ogbonna and Balbuena go from strength to strength under David Moyes, Diop’s stock has fallen dramatically.

The former Toulouse captain has started just one Premier League game since September and, in a rare opportunity, left Christian Benteke free to open the scoring in the 1-1 midweek draw with Crystal Palace.

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The Sun reports that West Ham will listen to bids (permanent or temporary) next month with the £23 million Diop, who earns £67,000-a-week at the London Stadium (Spotrac), available for transfer.

West Brom are allegedly keen and, after last night’s 3-0 thumping at home to Aston Villa, Allardyce would surely jump at the chance to bring a 6ft 4ins powerhouse of a centre-half to The Hawthorns.

If Diop can rediscover the form that made him one of Europe’s most highly-rated young defenders in 2019, West Brom’s survival hopes would be given a substantial boost.

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